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Wed Jan 13, 2021, 08:46 PM

Dahlia Lithwick: Republicans Still Don't Get It

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/01/republicans-impeachment-speeches-first-amendment.html

Republicans Still Don’t Get It
Even after almost dying, they are screaming about their right to blather while in the act of blathering.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Jan 13, 20217:57 PM

snip//

It is, quite frankly, beyond belief that the very same people who could have died in the United States Capitol just last week have somehow persuaded themselves that they’ve in fact experienced a more acute First Amendment injury than even insurrection itself. And that any effort to impose liability for the property destruction, terror, and death that resulted from the storming of the government is a monstrous encroachment on their right to talk. They make this point, to be clear, as they are talking and talking and talking about the pain of First Amendment encroachments, on the House floor. The real threat is to them, they say, as they point to the long and careening tour of Free Speech casualties of January 2021, from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, to an armed mob’s vaunted free assembly rights, to their own, wholly imaginary right to talk endlessly—which they are, to be clear, doing, even as they whine about it. That it is all performed even when what they say is happening is plainly not happening is eminently incendiary and insane. And herein lies the problem. We have come to a moment in which one half of the country is fighting to be free of crippling, life-ending acts of stochastic terror, while another half of the same country is chillingly preoccupied with their right to just talk shit.

These harms are not the same.

Immediately after the Nazi invasion of Charlottesville, Mark Joseph Stern and I wrote about the ways in which the arcane constitutional debates over free speech cannot be taken seriously in a world in which one team is in possession of weapons of war. This morning, Henry Grabar wrote that one cannot debate and speak freely in the people’s house, if some members are armed with life-ending weaponry. We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some Republican House members were afraid to vote for impeachment because they were in literal fear for their lives and the lives of their families. These people feel they cannot speak, or vote freely, not because anyone is “cancelling” them, but because they would prefer not to die.

The false equivalency on display in Wednesday’s impeachment hearings was breathtaking. An armed insurrection against lawmakers in the seat of government is cast as functionally equivalent to Donald Trump being “censored” by “big tech” for violating their policies against inciting violence. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has compared being deplatformed on Twitter to “cyber god’s Kristallnacht!” Fox News on Jeanine Pirro made the same analogy about Parler: saying, “They gave us a taste of this pre-election when they suppressed the Hunter Biden story, and now that they’ve won, what we’re seeing is the kind of censorship that is akin to a Kristallnacht.” Being denied the ability to say false things is not, in fact, Kristallnacht, but by all means continue to suggest that the injuries are equivalent.

snip//

Free speech is important. Really, really important. But the notion that the right to lie freely and unencumbered, about the scourge of non-governmental censorship is somehow equivalent to the right not be shot dead in the seat of government itself, is the most tragic perversion of American freedom I have ever witnessed. Donald Trump was impeached today for actually inciting violence. This happened while his stalwart defenders carped on and on about their fundamental freedom to keep lying about it. It is the most on the nose indictment of “liberty” ever performed.

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Reply Dahlia Lithwick: Republicans Still Don't Get It (Original post)
babylonsister Wednesday OP
texasfiddler Wednesday #1
Chin music Wednesday #2
Solly Mack Wednesday #3

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 08:55 PM

1. It is so weird that republicons are acting like the party of free speech, mobs, and revolution.

Democrats are now the party of law and order.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 08:55 PM

2. Dahlia gets it.

Extremely well informed writer.
Wonderful lady too.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 09:13 PM

3. K&R

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